(**Shout out to all you OC Transpo users! Seriously though I have encountered this everywhere not just Ottawa…stay safe**)
I think buses will be the death of me. Specifically the bus I take to and from college. And to clarify, I don’t mean being hit by a bus Mean Girls style. I mean actually getting on them, hanging on for dear life, or avoiding a slow and steady decapitation from various other bus occupants. This also goes for when you’re standing in the high velocity sardine tin and fear for being squished by the other sardines…
Buses have never been my friend, but like a friend going on a night out, they are always late. And this is not the fashionably late kinda late. This is the miserable, of course it is raining and there isn’t a bus shelter kinda late. Lets also not comment on the walk to and from the bus stops. In Ottawa I enjoy my walk through the city on pavements to the bus stop, it’s a refreshing way to start the morning. And you get rewarded for your toilsome walk with heated bus shelters. Heated. Bus. Shelters.
Lets move onto the real downside of the bus life….
Buses seem to bring out the worst of people. They are the definition of a free for all. Sure there are notices that say you should move to the back of the bus and give priority to certain people, but let’s be honest here, has that ever really happened without passive aggressive noises and gestures from over bus occupants or the driver? If there is by some luck an unoccupied seat, assertiveness, and willful brutality is the way forward if you are to win the seat from the wave of passengers entering the bus from all angles. In a sense getting the bus in the morning is a bit like the game that’s popular at children’s parties, musical chairs. But there isn’t any music, and there will be some injuries.
If perchance you get the seat and the bus isn’t crowded to the point that the driver just breezes past stops, you are subjected to the second reason of why buses bring out the worst in people. The judgement.
People watching is a fun casual pastime I and many others partake in. The usual setting is in a coffee shop window watching the people pass, but the bus scenario hikes up the casual level to extreme. Given a choice of seats, people will generally go for empty seats or sit next to the smallest people. I’ve seen people stand to avoid sitting next to certain people… I am guilty as charged. Staring also seems to be a common predicament on buses, whether it is just idle zoning out of passengers or the fact that any social norms are left at the bus stop. Just not comfortable for anyone.
Now the one things that disturbs me greatly on buses are the people who can just drift off to sleep. The only time I’ve ever fallen asleep on public transport was the tube in London. Of course it ended up in a swift awakening as the train stopped and my head connected with the not soft rail of the circle line… The thought of falling asleep on a bus just worries me to the point of not sleeping. Seeing people dropping off beside you, it’s an awkward situation to be in. How do you politely say “please refrain from leaning and dribbling on me while you power nap on your way to work?” It’s just too awkward for me. (#britishproblems)
Leading on from the disturbing napping bus people, comes the next species, the ones who are transfixed for the whole journey on their cellular device. I have so little qualms with people reading or using their mobiles (cells)… the only issue I have is when people are so engrossed in their tiny computers that they are unaware of anything around them. The music that is being played so loud you feel sorry that their brain has to endure that level of noise. They don’t see the frantic waving or pushing of fellow bus people as they try to leave only to be stopped by the electronic infused enthusiast. Infuriating.
This may seem very negative now I reflect… But the buses aren’t always that bad…
Public Transport actually opens up the city for me. If I don’t fancy walking there is sure to be a bus going the same way as me. Yes, I may have to wait and I’m not guaranteed luxurious comfort, but public transport is public transport, and I am very sure that there are worse companies out there than OC Transpo….
Thanks for reading, sorry for the ranty read, and have an excellent week!
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